The atomic and electronic structure of amorphous silicon nitride (Englisch)

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Using a novel approach to the ab initio generation of random networks we constructed two nearly stoichiometric samples of amorphous silicon nitride with the same content $x$=1.29. The two 64-atom periodically-continued cubic diamond-like cells contain 28 silicons and 36 nitrogens randomly substituted, and were amorphized with a 6 fs time step by heating them to just below their melting temperature with a Harris-functional based, molecular dynamics code in the LDA approximation. The averaged total radial distribution function (RDF) obtained is compared with some existing Tersoff-like potential simulations and with experiment; ours agree with experiment. All the partial radial features are calculated and the composition of the second peak also agrees with experiment. The electronic structure is calculated and the optical gaps obtained using both a HOMO-LUMO approach and the Tauc-like procedure developed recently that gives reasonable gaps.

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